Michelle, one of the moms in my homeschool support group, has battled cancer for a while. I don’t know her well. We’ve only met a couple of times. However, her close friends in the group kept us informed of her health so we could pray for her. She came close to death in 2007 but was cancer free for the last year. Then one day last week she was taken to the hospital where they discovered she had a brain tumor. She died on December 31, 2008. Michelle left behind a daughter. I can only imagine how much she misses her mom this morning.
Nothing like death to stop and make you think. Especially when you’re thinking about making resolutions for the new year. It puts into perspective what matters most. I find myself thinking: What if 2009 were my last year here on earth? What if today, January 2, 2009 were the last January 2nd I would ever see. How would I live this day differently?
Now I’ve been asked that thought-provoking question before, you know the one that says, if you had only two months to live how would you spend your time? In my mind I’ve formulated what those 60 days would like like. My plans for those 60 days reveal much about my true ideals and priorities in life.
The reality though, is that I don’t know when I will die. I could be here for another week or another 50 years. I can’t drop everything and live like I only have 60 days left on this planet. There is laundry to be done (I wouldn’t do laundry during my last 60 days on earth :-). My kids need to be taught. There are meals to prepare and many other chores that I can’t avoid for the rest of my life. Still, questions like that are good because they make you think. Michelle’s death makes me think too. It makes me think about how I will do life in 2009.
In the coming year…
- I will think twice about about the petty little things I let bother me — letting go of those worries and concerns that are not “eternal.”
- I will make an effort to renew and restore some relationships this year.
- To paraphrase Henri Nouwen: Instead of seeing all of life’s interruptions as interruptions and getting annoyed by them, I will see life’s interruptions as life — living them and loving others through them.
- I will avoid “future tripping” –that is, worrying about the future so much that I’m not living in the present.
- Finally, I will complain less and rejoice more, even in the the difficult moments, especially in difficult moments.
These a just a few of the thoughts in my head. I know they’re a bit broad but the Holy Spirit will help me work out the details.
So, how do you want to do life differently in 2009?